Go West .
When I was a young lad I would be allowed to stay up late(ish) to watch Star Trek . Now I am fairly sure I don’t need to explain what Star Trek was about but just in case you’re some sort of lapsed Amish then here’s a link to the Wikipedia Star Trek entry. Anyway the point is, like many other kids of that time , Star Trek was the program which planted some thoughts and ideas about how I wanted the future to be.
So here we are today and I am sitting on the sofa with my wonderful little Fujitsu Seimens Amilo LG7310 Laptop. It’s connected wirelessly to my Internet connection. Thanks to the power of Firefox I am able to open mutliple tabs and locate several sources for my thoughts and ideas about this particular blog. So in some ways the future I wanted is already here , well except for the transporter. Back to my point.
Sharon pointed this out to me and I wanted to write it down and ask the questions. You see I’m 30 something now ( yes that’s another TV link ) and have been hooked on a TV show which recently ended its run. This TV show has had the same profound effect on me that Star Trek did when I was younger. Whilst I realise the message and scripts are carefully scripted and the well considered words are developed by one or more writers who have time to craft the idea, that does not leave me any less desiring to begin to become involved in changing the ideas and policies of those agencies around me.
So what was this show ?
West Wing , from Aaron Sorkin , which details the lives and agendas of the staff working in the White House, for the President of the United States of America. It’s fast paced, smartly worded and thoughtful of the climate in which it was written. In its Seven Year , Seven Season run it created stories and ideas which moved me and made me think more about the society in which I was living. This was a TV Show that made me actually want to sit up and take an interest in the activities and procedures of my Government and its Local Governments.
So as I said, Sharon raised the question :
If people can watch Star Trek then go away and build the technology, why can’t people watch West Wing and develop the ideas into policies.
I can remember the apathy and the lack of desire I used to feel about politicians and the local council. Because of The West Wing , when Sharon and I took a trip into London we chose to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament. If you’re a UK citizen, if you have not yet done so then I would recommend that you take a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Because of The West Wing I actually stop to ask questions of my Local parliamentary representatives and I take a more active interest in my own local community.
This in turn leads to an interesting segue. Since we in the Ubuntu , even the Open Source, community recognise the importance of taking part and contributing to the community that is Open should we not as part of a personal responsibility and a demonstration of our own personal ethics take part in our local community with an equal zeal ? Would that involvement enable people to gain an opportunity to see wherein we have gained that passion and interest ? but I digress .
So where has this led me ?
Because of The West Wing I took time to discover whom my local councillors and members of parliment were and I found out the details of the local parties websites. I take notice of the local papers and the local businesses and look for opportunities where I can begin to ask questions and expect answers of those whom the people have elected to make decisions. In many ways my entrance into that world is similar to my experiences in getting involved in the open source community and hopefully I can write more about this.
If you are looking for a good place to start then go check out They Work for You which will let you know when a particular member of Parliament has spoken and what they spoke about. British politics may not be as exciting as The West Wing but it matters to me and its something I can take part in just as much as the science and computers of Star Trek.